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Stakeholder and Public Involvement Strategies: Hydraulic Project Approval and Wildlife Areas Habitat Conservation Plans

Category: Habitat - Habitat Conservation Plans

Date Published: December 2006

Number of Pages: 105

Author(s): Jones & Stokes

INTRODUCTION:

The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) contracted with consultants Jones & Stokes and Kaleen Cottingham to conduct an external needs assessment of stakeholders and tribal staff to evaluate the challenges, issues, lessons learned, and successful strategies for stakeholder and public involvement for two Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs). WDFW is in the initial stages of developing two HCPs: one for the Hydraulic Project Approval (HPA) regulatory program and one for activities on state-owned Wildlife Areas.

Jones & Stokes and Kaleen Cottingham completed the draft needs assessment in June 2006, which includes key findings from interviews with several groups including state and local elected officials, tribes, environmental groups, regulators and other agencies, the regulated community, checkerboard/adjacent landowners, the Fish and Wildlife Commission, and WDFW advisory councils. The needs assessment is included in Appendix A.

The needs assessment provides valuable information as to how stakeholders, tribes and other interested parties view WDFW’s programs and HCPs in general. The assessment also focuses on whether and how each group would like to be involved in the two HCPs, lessons that have been learned from other HCP experiences, and key elements for a successful outreach program.

The needs assessment focused on several specific outreach questions including:

  • Issues, concerns and interests of various stakeholder groups and tribal staff;
  • Level of desired participation from those interviewed;
  • Best methods for reaching and engaging interested parties;
  • Successful outreach efforts for past HCPs and other statewide projects and programs;
  • Importance of and methods for reaching the general public; and
  • Specific outreach methods for the HPA program vs. Wildlife Areas.

This information—combined with the Department’s goals of: 1) conducting a transparent and proactive outreach process; and 2) involving the groups who will be impacted by HCP development—informs the development of these strategies.

 

Suggested Citation:
Jones & Stokes. 2006. Stakeholder and Public Involvement Strategies. Hydraulic Project Approval and Wildlife Areas Habitat Conservation Plans. December. (J&S 06255.06.) Olympia, WA. Prepared for Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.